Michigan offense actually better against stronger defenses

Submitted by tpilews on November 28th, 2010 at 7:45 PM

So, I keep hearing how the offense put up gawdy numbers against bad competition, but disappeared against good defenses and wondered if that was actually accurate. I took my numbers from my season long diary tracking yards gained by UMs offense.

With a small sample size (51+(5), 50-26(4), 25-(3)), it's tough for these numbers to be something majorly concrete, but it's interesting to see that UMs offense was more efficient against better defenses.



November 28th, 2010 at 8:43 PM ^

This is completely fair, and this is something I understand.  You are not one of the people with the sentiment, but there is definitely a sentiment that our offense is just not very good. 

In Big Ten play:

Wisconsin avg ppg allowed:  20.5        UM:  28

Iowa avg ppg allowed:  16.4              UM:  28

OSU avg ppg allowed:  13.3              UM:  7


UM exceeded the first two by a good amount, and while we didn't touch the OSU average, anybody who watched that game knows we left a LOT of points on the board which were either attributed to a lack of any kicking game, or straight up flukey TO's.


PS,  that was not me negging you.


November 28th, 2010 at 11:13 PM ^

I think it has something to do with your implied assertion that numbers and data aren't important and shouldn't be used.  We should just rely on our guts to tell us how good the O is.  This is how you are coming off to me, and it sounds outrageously ignorant.  You're coming off sounding like :  "I know you've got evidence and numbers and stuff, but my emotions tell me otherwise."


November 28th, 2010 at 11:59 PM ^

I guess I'm not saying it well then. I'm not implying stats are bad, and if I was then it was a misunderstanding. I'm just trying to say that they don't always tell the whole story.  Especially looking at one or two in isolation.

And in regards to the second statement (about my emotions telling me otherwise), there's more to the evaluation of football than pure numbers...I don't think that's emotions. Maybe I'm wrong. I am certainly no expert at football though, so perhaps I should refrain from saying those types of things.


November 29th, 2010 at 12:54 AM ^

Unfortunately, with the program as it is now, numbers and stats are all we have.

And they don't tell the whole story. We can gain all the yards and points we want, but it still looked like we didn't belong on the same field as MSU(!!!), Iowa, Wisky, and OSU. Our offense, aside from the late rally against Iowa, was never a threat to any of these teams. In fact, through much of these games it just looked anemic.


November 28th, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^

Yes, there is a decline and as you have touched on a bit turnovers, starting position, youth/inexperience, etc. are all factors that effect an offenses ability to score. This is why I chose to use yards for my initial analysis. As the team matures those yards will turn to more scoring. The team is at a point where they don't respond well to adversity. When they overcome that, they won't just be able to move the ball on anyone, they'll be scoring at will.


November 28th, 2010 at 8:29 PM ^

yards don't win you games, points do.

In the last 7 games:
MSU: 24th Scoring Defense: UM (scored) 17 points - L
Iowa: 7th SD: UM 28 points - L (shut out of the first half)
Wisconsin: 29th SD: 28 points - L (shut out of the first half)
OSU: 3rd SD: 7 points - L

Mitch Cumstein

November 28th, 2010 at 8:31 PM ^

So essentially you were able to find a stat that shows that our offense didn't shit the bed against the best 5 teams we played this year.  OK, congratulations I guess.  I wish that translated into first half points.


November 28th, 2010 at 8:38 PM ^

This is honestly one of the most ridiculous posts I've ever seen on this blog. In games against "good" opponents (excluding Illinois, they are not good or even above-average) mIchigan has rounded up a grand total of 34 points in the first half against msu, iowa, psu, wisconsin, and ohio state. They accumulate yards when they are done by 3+ touchdowns (which they were in every one of these games at one point) and are forced to throw the ball in obvious passing situations. These useless statistics you posted mean absolutely nothing and if you think michigan has been better against good opponents we have not been watching the same team this year.  


November 28th, 2010 at 9:39 PM ^

The point is that our offense is the football equivalent of the Jaguar. Looks great, hauls ass, lots of cool bells and whistles, but it breaks down way too much at the most inopportune times.

You either believe that another year under current management is going to work out the kinks in the system that causes it to break down (e.g. inexperience, bad luck, pressing to make up for the lack of a defense, pressing to make up for the lack of a kicking game, etc.), or you believe that our offense is inherently flawed and needs new management to fix it, or you believe it doesn't matter either way since RR is beyond redemption.

Regardless, these are statistically relevant data points that show the promise this offense has. They also directly point out that the offense isn't a BMW yet or it would be scoring on par with Oregon so clearly there are issues as well.

No need to be dicks and to call out the OP for good, relevant, data points. This board is looking more and more like Mlive by the day. A lot of people (maybe all of us) need to take a week or two off from this board and from Michigan football. I wonder what would happen if Brian just shut her down for a bit...


November 28th, 2010 at 8:39 PM ^

If they move adopt a new scoring system where you can cash in yards for points at a little plaza toll window behind the end zone, I'd support it. We'd be better than 7-5.


November 28th, 2010 at 8:56 PM ^

I would be interested to get a comparison of how many possessions we got for these games. I would imagine they are higher than against the bad teams since the OSU/Wisconsin/Iowas scored on us more. That and what everyone else said... points.

Communist Football

November 28th, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

It's easy to be snarky about the difference between total offense (by yardage) and scoring offense.  If (and how big of an "if" that is is up to you to decide) we can cut down on the turnovers and get a Division I-A placekicker, we'll get that fixed.

It's easy to be snarky about the difference between scoring offense and wins. If (and how big of an "if" that is is up to you to decide) we can fix the defense, we'll get that fixed too.

The idea that people shouldn't post anything that highlights anything positive about Michigan football, because we just lost badly to Ohio State, is sad.  Just sad.  I get that misery loves company, but geez.


November 28th, 2010 at 9:05 PM ^

Once the offense makes even less mistakes, (there has been less this year than the past two years though), and we get a top 25 defense, (yes top 25, no "at least mediocre", it has to be top 25), we will consistently get to BCS bowls.

Greg McMurtry

November 28th, 2010 at 9:31 PM ^

Find a kicker and things will be a lot different.  How many missed field goals did Michigan have this year?  Nine and 2 missed XPs.  How many times did they go for it on 4th down within field goal range, only to turn the ball over?  The answer is quite a bit.  How many touchbacks did Michigan have on a kickoff?  Seven and 3 kickoffs went out of bounds.  Those are sad stats that need vast improvement.


November 28th, 2010 at 9:56 PM ^

This is a simplistic and misleading analysis.  How much of the game did the starters play against weak defenses?  How much more aggressive was the playcalling against strong defenses than weak?  How much more risky was the playcalling against strong defenses than weak?  Is the spike of turnovers against stronger defenses a function of youth or injury or playcalling that exceeded the capabilities of the players?


November 28th, 2010 at 10:13 PM ^

RichRod normally puts his 2nd string offense in before the other team puts in their 2nd string defense.  I seem to remember Jeremy Jackson getting tackled by Chekwa (sic?)

Same with Wisconsin. If you think Beliema took his starters out before Rodriguez, you're on crack.

All the other questions in that jumble of a paragraph don't even make any sense, so I'll leave them alone.


November 28th, 2010 at 10:35 PM ^

Sorry, but this simply isn't true. Jeremy Jackson and Jeron Stokes played a lot because Hemmingway and Odoms were both out and we often play four receivers at a time. We also rotate WRs a lot. It's not some indication that RR pulls starters. You'll know the starters are pulled when the QB leaves the game and he's not hurt.


November 29th, 2010 at 12:20 AM ^

We dont have a bunch of seniors, but our O does have adequate experience..you dont get to have 10 5th year seniorss every year. I would guess our offense is close to average as far as experience goes